Free Talks at the 31st Annual Akron Antiquarian Book & Paper Fair

The upcoming 31st Annual Akron Antiquarian Book & Paper Fair (March 29th & 30th) will feature the following FREE lectures:

What Are Old Books Worth? By Jim Best

This talk will focus on what factors – supply, demand, condition and content – determine the value of old and rare book and paper ephemera. Many examples will be discussed.

 Jim Best: I have been an antiquarian book dealer since 1978, specializing in pre-WWI books on travel and exploration, science and history. More recently I have been dealing in manuscript materials, particularly travel diaries of people traveling abroad before 1930. In addition to buying and selling books and paper ephemera I have been a consultant to auctioneers and done estate appraisals. I have published a book on Scribner’s Illustrated Classics and another on the history of American Illustration.


 Moveable Books (Childrens’ Books) by Larry Rakow

Novelty books that move and pop-up are almost instant collectibles…the very notion of giving delicate pop-ups to children almost guarantees that few will remain intact! Nevertheless, paper engineering has a long and fascinating history dating back several centuries. We’ll explore that history (with real examples dating back to the mid-19th century) and discuss creating and maintaining a collection in this presentation.

 Larry Rakow is a past-president of NOBS and the owner of Wonderland Books, dealing almost exclusively in rare and collectible children’s books. He has collected and sold pop-up and movable books for more than 35 years and is a member of the Movable Book Society.


Coffee, Chocolate, and Opium: Books about Plants that Changed History by Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer will present a talk about the literature of economic botany. Food, beverage, medicinal, and other plants have spurred exploration, ignited wars, fueled economic development, and inspired artists from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Hector Berlioz. Bauer will discuss books about coffee, chocolate, opium, spices, the potato, the apple, the tulip, and the plant most closely associated with Akron–rubber.

 Paul Bauer is a botanist-turned-bookseller. He is the coauthor of Frazier Robinson’s autobiography, Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues. His most recent book, written with Mark Dawidziak, is the award-winning Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler. He lives in Kent, Ohio.

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